Now that the weather is warming up it is time to start thinking about fleas and ticks. I have always taken a more natural approach to these pests, but I also live in an area where the winters get cold so fleas usually freeze off during the colder months.

I started using Diatomaceous Earth (food grade) about 4 years ago. I must admit I am not very consistent about using it but I have not had flea, tick or worm issues since I started using it. I mix it into my dry dog food as I am putting it in my storage containers. I mix about 2 Tablespoons with every 8-10 cups of dry food. You want to be careful to not breath the dust from it in as you are mixing it. Mine has never seemed very dusty but that could be because I am out in the kennel when I am doing it and there is plenty of good ventilation.

When I start feeding it to my young puppies, I mix it in with their mush/gruel I make up for them, this way I don’t have to worry about them breathing in the dust of it.   

For Flea prevention I use it on their bedding. Since I use two types of bedding, I will explain how I use it both ways. For my puppies and any dogs living with a dog house I put fresh shavings down once/twice a week, I only add the Diatomaceous Earth every other week or so, but I sprinkle a couple of tablespoons into the shavings ( the dogs, or puppies are not their when I do this so I do not need to worry about them breathing in the dust). For the dogs that use blankets for bedding I just sprinkle a teaspoon or so on their blankets.  Its sharp edges are abrasive which is why you do not want yourself or your dogs to breath in the dust. The way Diatomaceous earth works is that it causes insects to dry out and die by absorbing the oils and fats from the cuticle of the insect’s exoskeleton.

I have never found ticks on my dogs, and I am not sure if it is because they don’t spend a lot of time in the woods, we have no big trees around our place and most of the time if we are off our place we are on trails. I do feel behind and, in their ears,, and under their arm pits if we have been in a heavy wooded area to make sure I don’t feel any ticks. It could also be that the Diatomaceous Earth is killing them. Either way because I have not had issues with ticks, I will keep doing what I have been as it seems to be working.

Now, as for worming, I still worm my dogs and puppies with liquid Strongid wormer a couple of times a year, but that is not the most expensive wormer out there and when my puppies have been tested, they always come back negative for worms. Strongid does not kill all kinds of worms so I believe the Diatomaceous Earth is killing what the Strongid does not. Either way I am happy to not be dealing with these nasty little pests.

If you have any questions about the Diatomaceous Earth or Strongid please let me know. Below you will see a website that has more information about Diatomaceous Earth.

http://npic.orst.edu/factsheets/degen.html